Detective shows were very popular on television especially in the 60s and 70s. So it’s no surprise that detective toys were bountiful during that time as well. Like 1972’s Manhunt game by Milton Bradley.
The story in the box lid gives you a great overview of the game. It is pretty wordy, this gives you a good idea of the learning curve for Manhunt.
Now that I think about it, a lot of these board games from this era could be pretty complex. I guess that is because technology was just being introduced. People were so eager to make cool games with cool tech, they did not think about streamlining the gaming experience. Manhunt is a good example of this in action. It comes with scads of accessories. You have readout books, a scanner, handbooks and a battery operated crime computer! This is all great in practice, but lose on of these pieces and you suddenly have a less fun game.
Not pictured here is the board itself, which is surprisingly simple.
The reason this game is such a star though is the computer. Take a look at the computer in action in this YouTube video.
Manhunt Game Computer
After reading the directions I’m not sure what is harder, figuring out how to play the game or catching the criminal once you do.
Sometimes I forget about toys from my childhood until I stumble onto one in a flea market. Like this great toy from Tomy in 1979. It’s the Turn The Terrible Tank Game! A futuristic tank runs in a track between two opponents. Each player can fire their ball bearing ammo at the tank and make it change direction toward your enemy. Once the tank reaches your base it blows up your cannon and scores a point. First player to score 4 points wins the game! The tank runs on 2 double A batteries and looks awesome on its own.
I searched for an original TV commercial but could only find this parody on YouTube but it’s pretty great!
Watch the Turn The Terrible Tank Game Parody
I also took some video of the tank in action. Picture this with menacing late 1970s music behind it for greatest effect.
See Turn The Terrible Tank in action (HD)
This was a great bargain find for me. It is exciting when you find things like this and get a good deal. Not only does it enhance your collection, but it also gives you hope that items exist to add to your collection. So keep your eyes open at Flea Markets and Garage Sales. You never know when a Terrible Tank is going to make an appearance.
As a kid in the seventies, I was obsessed with any type of projector toys. Kenner cornered the toy market with their line of GIVE-A-SHOW projectors. Many different versions were released for the over the years for the Kenner Give-a-Show Projector. And many different cartoons earned a spot on the box cover. If it was a cartoon you were a fan of, odds are that you might be able to see them on your Kenner projector.
Recently I found this 1974 version featuring one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons, Valley of the Dinosaurs. This set also contains many other cartoon staples from the seventies including Speed Buggy, Hong Kong Phooey, Fat Albert, Bugs Bunny and more. Pop in some batteries, turn down the lights and start the show by projecting full color slides on a bare wall. Or hang up a white sheet if Mom will allow it. Today’s kids might be bored with something this simple, but it was pretty awesome in 1974.
Every incarnation for the projector was great. If you are familiar with the time a projector is released, you will recognize very quickly the classics on the slides. They look good here and even better when projected four feet high on a wall.
Kenner Give-a-Show Projector Hong Kong Phooey
Kenner Give-a-Show Projector Speed Buggy
Watch the Kenner Give-a-Show Projector in action
You think you know your board game history? Well here are a pair of 1960s Board Games that I think will be “new” to many of you.
Rock, Paper, Scissors Board Game
We have all played rock, paper, scissors at times. But did you know this grade school game was turned into a board game? I didn’t until I found this 1967 board game by Ideal. It consists of game pieces with 3 levers, marked with a picture of a rock, scissors and paper. Instead of making the symbols with your fingers you simply tap the lever that represents your choice. Rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper and paper beats rock. For each win you draw a game tile and try to fill in your game card. First one with a full game card wins. So is it any more fun than just playing the game with your hands? Not really and that’s probably why I had never saw this game before.
Hats Off Board Game
The next board game is also from 1967 and made by Kohner Brothers. It is the Hats Off game. A game of skill which is actually really fun to play. Each player tries to flip their little cone-shaped hats into the scoring board in their color section. 5 points for each score and a bonus of 5 points if you stack two or more hats in your color section. The flipper part is spring-loaded and features Slide-O-Matic scoring! First one to 75 points wins. I am going to have to take this game to Arkadia Retrocade and challenge Vic Sage to a game!
Watch Hats Off in action
My streak of good luck at thrift shops and flea markets continued with this awesome little record playing toy, Mattel Instant Replay. Today if you want to check out some great instant replays from your favorite sports star, it’s as easy as pulling them up on YouTube or an ESPN App. However, back in the early 70s when I was a kid it was a little more difficult. You could wait for the sports report on your local TV station, or read about it the next day in the newspaper.
One day at school a friend of mine had a group of kids gathered around him while he was playing what I thought was a transistor radio. Turns out it was this Mattel Instant Replay toy. It plays tiny records on the battery-powered player. There were many different record sets you could purchase too. All featuring great audio clips of the biggest sports stars of the day.
I never got one of these as a kid, but grabbed this one up at a flea market at a great price. I tossed in one “D” cell battery and fired it up. After all this time, the little record player inside still works. The sound is a little noisy, but that is to be expected from a toy that is over 45 years old!
Watch a demo of Mattel Instant Replay